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Stephen Douglas Wilson

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LABOR DAY: 4 who exemplify laboring for the Lord

PIPPA PASSES, Ky. (BP) -- On Sept. 3, Americans will celebrate Labor Day. Congress created the holiday in 1894 to honor all those who labor, designating the first Monday in September for its official observance. The federal Labor Day actually was preceded by more than 30 states that had already sanctioned the holiday. It is interesting to think about some important Christian leaders who performed extraordinary feats of labor in their lifetime ministries; here are four who met that high standard. The dedication and work ethic of William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, Annie Armstrong and Billy Graham easily exceed most of the labor that contemporary Christians perform for their faith, though these short accounts are not meant as complete biographies.

The Magna Carta & the rise of religious liberty

PADUCAH, KY. (BP) -- Eight hundred years ago on June 15, 1215, a group of English nobles at Runnymede forced a reluctant King John to endorse a document of grievances against royal authority. Written by Stephen, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Magna Carta was designed to be a compromise between rebellious nobles and the king.

150 YEARS AFTER APPOMATTOX: A redemptive surrender

PADUCAH, KY. (BP) -- Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived at the McLean House near Appomattox, Va., On April 9, 1865, to meet with Union commander Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant). Nearly surrounded and with an undernourished army, Lee sought generous surrender terms from the Union army leader whose wartime nickname was "Unconditional Surrender Grant." Both men knew that what they decided on here would set the tone for the nation after the grueling four-year Civil War.

Where was Jesus tried?

PADUCAH, Ky. (BP) -- The trial of Jesus Christ before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate is the most famous trial in human history. One of its most fascinating aspects remains somewhat of a mystery: Where was it held in Jerusalem? Three of the four Gospels contain some helpful clues to the trial's location but they do not mention a clearly identifiable site in Jerusalem.

ARCHAEOLOGY: Just 3 miles from Bethlehem

PADUCAH, Ky. (BP) -- Israeli archeologists have uncovered an impressive entrance to Herod's palace at Herodium. Located only three miles southeast of Bethlehem, Herodium played an important part in the events surrounding the early life of Christ. The December announcement by Hebrew University archeologists Roi Porat, Yakov Kalman and Rachel Chachy dovetails well with the seasonal interest in the nativity accounts of Luke and Matthew in the New Testament.

FIRST-PERSON: WWI’s impact on Christians

[QUOTE@right@180="What started on July 28, 1914, impacted Christians for the next 100 years."
-- Stephen Douglas Wilson]World War I changed Christianity in significant ways and its impact is still felt among believers, columnist Stephen Douglas Wilson says on the war's 100th anniversary.

1913 Southern Baptist Convention’s long reach: missions, social concerns, cooperation

MAYFIELD, Ky. (BP) -- One hundred years ago Southern Baptists met in St. Louis to conduct their business. Surprisingly, this particular convention would extend a long reach into the future of both the convention and even the nation at large. With the exceptions of 1845 and 1979, few SBC annual meetings produced the long reach that this one possessed.

FIRST-PERSON: What can Baptists learn from St. Patrick?

Baptists and other evangelicals can learn a lot from St. Patrick's life, says columnist Stephen Douglas Wilson.

The Constitution & its benefits to Christians in America

MAYFIELD, Ky. (BP) -- March 4 is the 224th anniversary of the United States operating under its Constitution. Created in 1787, the document endured without legal standing for a year and a half as the different states sought to ratify it. The republic started functioning on the basis of the document on March 4, 1789. On that date the first Congress convened. Two years later, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution were added in 1791. These additions gave the new republic a strong Bill of Rights that protected the liberties of individual citizens. While the Constitution rarely mentions faith or faith issues, the Christian community in the United States has received many benefits from it -- a fact that is often overlooked due to the scarcity of direct references. For instance, the document only acknowledges the Deity once -- in Article VII, when the original Constitutional Convention gave the unanimous consent of the states present on the date "the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven." Two other direct faith allusions also are contained in the original document of 1787 and the subsequent Bill of Rights of 1791. In Article VI the Constitution states that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." In the First Amendment contained in the Bill of Rights, the document reads, "Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." No Bible verses and/or expressions from historic Christian works are contained in the document.

In Jerusalem, the Temple that Jesus visited

MAYFIELD, Ky. (BP) -- Viewing the remains of the Jewish Temple complex that Jesus visited on many occasions remains the favorite aspect of both trips I've made to Israel. After nearly 2,000 years, the Temple still inspires the many Jewish and Christian visitors to the old city of Jerusalem.